I had fallen back into my same ol', same ol' dinners again when I saw this recipe and thought it would be a good one to try out. I made it tonight for dinner and it was deeeeelicious!! I will definitely make it again. The meatballs have a nice light texture with a fresh taste. Give it a try!
courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound orecchiette pasta (I couldn't find that so I used mini bow tie pasta)
1/4 c plain bread crumbs (I used italian because that is what I had)
1/4 c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp ketchup
3/4 c grated romano
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 c chicken stock
4 c cherry tomatoes ( I used 1 qrt of canned tomatoes from my garden)
1/2 c grated parmesan freshly grated
8 ounces bocconcini mozzarella balls
1/2 c chopped fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 min.
In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, romano cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and gently stir to combine.
Using a melon baller, form the chicken mixture into 3/4 inch pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken into mini meatballs.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer.
(I did a few this way, but since I doubled the batch, I cooked the majority on a cookie sheet in the oven, that worked great and they were very tender)
Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer to a large serving bowl and add the parmesan. Toss to lightly coat the pasta, adding reserved water if needed.
Add the meatball mixture, mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of basil. Gently toss to combine. Garnish with the chopped basil.